Review by Vinoo
Language : German / Russian
Director : Gotz Spielmann
Alex (Johannes Krisch) is an ex-con who works for Konecny (Hanno Poschl), the owner of a brothel ‘Cinderella’(The name sounds loaded to me) in Vienna. Tamara (a hot Irina Potapenko), an illegal Ukrainian immigrant, is a prostitute who works there and is also, unknown to her boss, Alex’s girlfriend. On one visit to a small town where Alex’s grandfather Hausner (Johannes Thanheiser) lives, he decides to rob the local bank and make a quick getaway with Tamara for a better life elsewhere. Meanwhile Alex also meets Susanne (Ursula Strauss), his next-door neighbour, who is a frequent visitor to Hausner’s. Alex is in no mood to entertain her attempts at friendship.
Alex convinces Tamara and goes ahead and robs the local bank and then just when he is planning his getaway runs into a cop. He puts on a mask and gives him the slip but while he is driving away the cop shoots at the tyres. The bullet finds Tamara who is in the car and now Alex is left with all the money they need but no girlfriend to elope with (Pardon my attempt at humour J). Alex now seeks revenge and he gathers the cop who shot Tamara is Robert (Andreas Lust), his neighbour Susanne’s husband. Robert is not able to come to terms with this unintended death of Tamara, at his hands. He is not able to deal with his suspension and the fact that she died of his bullet. This coupled with problems of his own at home make him a complete emotional mess. Susanne meanwhile makes her intentions very clear and invites Alex home when her husband isn’t around. It is made very obvious from conversations that her husband and she are going through a rough patch and she can’t have kids because of him being impotent. She also reveals in one of their meetings that her husband killed a woman by mistake, which is how Alex gathers who killed Tamara. Alex forces himself upon Susanne to vent his anger and she seems to willingly accept him.
Alex meets Robert with the intent to kill him but figures it was all unintended and he really meant to shoot at the tyres. Alex asks Robert what if the guy seeks revenge and tries to kill him to which Robert says ‘He is welcome to’ and further adds ‘All this wouldn’t have happened if the woman wasn’t in the car with the bank robber’. Alex then throws away the gun into the river, presumably Danube, that flows past Vienna. Susanne visits Alex and sees a photograph of Tamara on the table, which she has seen earlier in Robert’s hand. Everything falls in place and she requests Alex not to see her again or mention to her husband about having had sex with her. Susanne tells Robert that she is pregnant and that seems to put his problems behind him. Alex has had his revenge, in a strange way though.
The scenes where Alex is chopping logs of wood to vent his frustration is very well written in and so also the conversation between Alex and Hausner. The scenes brought to mind a couple of scenes between Robert De Niro and his dad in ‘Stanley and Iris’ which also stars Jane Fonda. Johannes Krisch and Andreas Lust put in amazingly good performances while Irina Potapenko, Ursula Stauss, Hanno Poschl and Johannes Thanheiser are good casting too.
Useless trivia : Gotz Spielmann has written the screenplay as well as directed ‘Revanche’. ‘Revanche’ in German means ‘revenge’ as well as ‘return match’ or ‘second chance’.
Johannes Krisch is an ensemble member of Vienna Burgtheater while Irina Potapenko has never been to acting-school and has learnt everything she has instinctively on stage.